The Red Devils look to put behind them a 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝟭-𝟭 𝗱𝗿𝗮𝘄 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 𝗿𝗼𝗰𝗸-𝗯𝗼𝘁𝘁𝗼𝗺 𝗕𝘂𝗿𝗻𝗹𝗲𝘆 as they entertain Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United 𝘀𝗹𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗱 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝟰𝘁𝗵 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗲𝗿 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗴𝘂𝗲 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝟲𝘁𝗵 after a Jay Rodriguez strike was enough to help struggling Burnley walk away from their encounter against United with a single point.
Southampton, on the other hand, came out of their last game victorious. Despite conceding an early lead to Tottenham, they managed to come back from being behind twice, and took all 3 points thanks to a late Che Adams strike. The win saw Southampton move up 2 spots to 10th, ahead of Aston Villa and Leicester City.
The draw at Burnley severely 𝗻𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗼𝘄𝘀 𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱’𝘀 𝗿𝗼𝗼𝗺 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗲𝗿𝗿𝗼𝗿. Tottenham and Wolves may have lost their respective games against Southampton and Wolves, but are still very much in contention for the final Champions League spot.
Ralf Rangnick will look to Tottenham and their own encounter against Burnley as stern warnings about what may come of the Southampton games. Inability to capitalise off blatant goalscoring opportunities have cost United dearly all campaign, and the problem seems only to be getting worse.
𝗖𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗮𝗻𝗼 𝗥𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝗱𝗼 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝘆𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗰𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗨𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮, and is a very worrying sign for the Red Devils as he has been their main source of goals. There has also been discussion regarding CR7’s effects on United, as there are concerns that other Man United players are “scared” of Ronaldo, and could be a cause of the underwhelming performances that we have grown accustomed to seeing from United.
Indeed, Southampton will be looking to make the most of a Manchester United in disarray to further climb up the table. Having slain a big team in the form of Tottenham, The Saints will be looking to replicate that against The Red Devils.
The last time United faced off against Southampton was back in August 2021, and it ended in a stalemate. Should United fail to secure a big 3 points, they could very well be looking at a 2022/2023 season without Champions League football.
Man United are still sweating over the fitness of Eric Bailly ahead of Saturday’s game, with the Ivory Coast international returning from Africa Cup of Nations duty with a swollen ankle.
It remains to be seen if Fred and Alex Telles will be able to recover from COVID-19 infection in time to play a part here, but the former surely has no chance of forcing Pogba out of the team either way.
Rangnick is certainly expected to recall Cristiano Ronaldo to the first XI after taking the bold decision to bench the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in midweek, and a man 18 years his junior in Anthony Elanga could also be reintroduced to a fresh attack.
As for Southampton, Lyanco is fighting to return to action before the end of the season after suffering a serious hamstring injury, and goalkeeper Alex McCarthy remains sidelined with a similar issue.
Moussa Djenepo returned to the substitutes bench after his Africa Cup of Nations exploits, but Nathan Redmond is dealing with an ankle problem and fellow attacker Nathan Tella is unlikely to return from a groin injury just yet.
Hasenhuttl will conduct fitness checks on his players after Wednesday’s exertions, but the visiting boss will surely make no changes to his first XI if his midweek heroes are ready to go again.
United have a habit of surprising us after a disappointing result, and with Rangnick well aware of the consequences of anything short of 3 points, expect to see a spirited United display. The only unknown is if Southampton will be able to live up to their last game.
We predict that The Red Devils will continue the above pattern, and pull off a win against Southampton. We say that United wins this game 3-0.